ISSR-led evaluation to help break the cycle of welfare reliance

18 Apr 2018

This article was originally drafted as a UQ media release. See also the related media release from the Ministers for the Department of Social Services.

A $96 million Australian Government fund designed to assist vulnerable young people is to be evaluated in a research project led by The University of Queensland.

Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR), said the Try, Test and Learn (TTL) Fund trialled innovative approaches to assist people who had the capacity to work but were at risk of long-term reliance on welfare to move into stable and sustainable employment.

There is considerable evidence to suggest that some groups are deeply and persistently disadvantaged, despite overall economic growth in Australia,” Professor Baxter said.

The research will aim to provide evidence-based evaluations essential for effective policy design and implementation.

Early interventions such as those proposed through the Try, Test and Learn Fund are key to preventing and reducing life-long disadvantage,” Professor Baxter said.

The TTL is a new way of approaching program and policy design, and represents an ongoing commitment to co‑designing, developing, improving and learning from innovative ideas about how to address issues of disadvantage and welfare dependency.

The $3.7 million evaluation contract, to run until mid-2020, involves a partnership spanning ISSR and the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research.

We are committed to working with the Department of Social Services and stakeholders to provide the most rigorous evaluation possible,” Professor Baxter said.

Professor Baxter is Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course (Life Course Centre), which investigates key drivers of disadvantage and how best to intervene to reduce them.